What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Kia Niro? What does it compare to?
The 2021 Kia Niro is a small hatchback with crossover-like proportions. Shop it against the related Hyundai Kona and the Mazda CX-30, among other small SUVs. The hybrid version is thrifty enough to be a Toyota Prius rival, while the electric version squares off against the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Is the 2021 Kia Niro a good car?
Review continues below
The Niro is a likable small hatchback with a high seating position that offers a less-expressive way to save fuel than a typical hybrid or electric car. We rate the 2021 Niro at 5.7 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What’s new for the 2021 Kia Niro?
A few minor tweaks marked a late 2021 arrival for the Niro. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility headlines the updates, while the available adaptive cruise control can gain information about curves in the road from the navigation system in high-trim Niros.
The Niro is a low-slung SUV or a tall hatchback, depending on your perspective. Its lines are somewhat rugged, but there’s nothing inherently off-roady about this vehicle.
Base versions put out a so-so 139 horsepower offset somewhat by 195 lb-ft of torque, but the important number here is at least 43 mpg combined, with the greenest versions tickling 50 mpg. Plug-in hybrids are slightly less efficient—they weigh a bit more—but that 26-mile range could be a game-changer for many commutes.
There’s a fully-electric version available only in certain states that offers upward of 200 miles of range, too, though we rate it separately.
Though far from fun, the Niro is pleasant and competent, with long enough legs to handle a road trip in comfort.
Inside, the Niro has a modern but not particularly lavish feel, even with optional leather seats and the 8.0-inch touchscreen. At least all the tech is good stuff—Kia’s intuitive display should be studied by rivals. Active safety tech is standard on all but the base Niro LX.
Crash-test scores have been excellent, though the fact that automatic emergency braking isn’t standard means the Niro doesn’t qualify as an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
How much does the 2021 Kia Niro cost?
The Niro comes standard as a hybrid in a wide range of trim levels that start around $25,500 and top out at about $34,000. A plug-in hybrid can go for about 26 miles on a full charge. It starts at about $32,000 and works its way to a hefty $38,000 with every option.
Skip the base Niro LX and grab at least the LXS at about $27,300. Its extra crash-avoidance tech is worth the money.
Where is the 2021 Kia Niro made?
In South Korea.